Innovative way to find lost pets

March 13, 2009 12:27:53 PM PDT
A San Francisco-based Web site is teaming up with the Red Cross to include your pet as part of your family's disaster preparedness. If you are separated from your pet, Together Tag can help arrange the reunion.

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Kathryn Lubin, like many pet owners, knows how she would feel if she ever lost her dog Clyde.

"I'd be completely devastated and heartbroken," said Lubin.

That's why she invested $25 in the Together Tag from the people at pet Web sites Dogster.com and Catster.com.

The tag includes the pet name, an ID number and a Web site to go to so your lost pet can get found.

"On his little Web site, if you type in a number, you see his photographs, there are three or four different contact numbers for him, his veterinarian information, his allergies, even the commands he obeys. Anything you could possibly need to know about my dog," said Lubin.

Dogster CFO Steven Reading says that unlike regular dog tags, you can update information on line 24/7.

"Not only that a rescuer will see with a flashlight in the dark, but also with the peace of mind knowing that this tag will last as long as you need it for," said Reading.

But like other dog tags, the Together Tag is only as lasting as the collar it's attached to. Lubin says the tag has advantages over microchips like the one Clyde has.

"Now I can't even remember who the company is to update my address or my information. I heard they charge for it too," said Lubin.

The folks at Dogster/Catster have also arranged for pet owners to issue an alert, including pictures, that goes out to Dogster and Catster visitors and subscribers, as well as shelters and pet rescue operations in your area. You can even print out a free missing pet poster to put up around your neighborhood.

The numbers for lost pets are staggering. Only 1 in 5 lost dogs is ever reunited with its owner and 1 in 50 cats. Numbers like those are why the Red Cross got involved with this program.

"Our initiative that we have up here in the Bay Area chapter is the three steps -- make a plan, get a kit, and be informed," said Serena Jolley with the Red Cross. "The tags go in conjunction with any three of those steps."

The Red Cross receives $5 for every Together Tag sold. It is money that goes to safety preparedness programs for all of us.

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